Monday, August 30, 2010

Paper Mama challenge "self"

This is a self portrait of myself with my youngest daughter. I don't usually like photos of myself enough to post them, but when my beautiful kids are in them they make it worth it :)

Check out all the wonderful entries at 

The Paper Mama

Update: I didn't win, but I did make it on the "favorites" list and got this button :)
The Paper Mama


anikaemilep apaopa

-Edited to add that Anika posted this blog and it says "Anika, Emily, Papa, Opa". I left my blog open and went outside. This is what I came back to.

Friday, August 27, 2010

before and after: master bath

As I have mentioned before, our entire house was this lovely shade of yellow. 

Ceilings and walls in every room.

even the closets

Before we even moved in we started covering up the yellow. 

White ceilings

green bedroom

purple laundry room

latte living area

I love the deep turquoise in my bedroom

Then after this playroom we ran out of steam

After about 4 months of avoiding paintbrushes we decided it was time to tackle the master bathroom. At first we thought about reversing the bedroom color scheme and painting it brown with blue towels and accents. Choosing a shade of brown is harder than you would think. Then my sweet husband brought me flowers last week. No reason other than he loves me =)

Aren't they pretty? After my darling 18 month old spilled them all over the kitchen table I moved them to my bathroom counter where they could be enjoyed out of her reach. As I carried them through my bedroom I noticed how lovely the magenta daisies were with my deep turquoise walls. the next day I sent Eric to Home Depot in search of purplish pink paint samples and we chose "sugar plum". It seemed a bit much to do the whole room so bright and feminine so most of the walls are white with an accent wall and arch in sugar plum.

What do you call a small room off the bathroom with just a toilet? Powder room isn't right because there is no sink. WC? toilet room? Anyway, whatever it is called it will be sugar plum colored too. 

Every room in our house has a plant ledge. We thought about buying little vases or artificial flowers to put up there and then Eric had a great idea. We had these orange boxes in Germany, but aren't going with the orange theme anymore.

So today, Eric took the leftover turquoise and sugar plum paints and did this

This was an easy and cheap way to decorate that plant shelf and it ties the 2 rooms together really well. Now we have to decide if we are putting anything in those pots.

Here is the before picture

Thursday, August 26, 2010

time to wash that remote!

Now that all the kids are headed back to school you may be buying hand sanitizer and reminding the little ones to cough into their elbows instead of their hands. I'm already noticing more coughing and sneezing around town than there was a couple of weeks ago before school started. We would all like to think that we are doing everything we can to keep the germs away, but there are a few places that we don't think to clean in our normal routine.

Today as I cleaned my daughters' bathroom I realized it had been awhile since I had cleaned the doorknobs and light switches so I wiped them down with the vinegar when I did the counters and sink. Then I started to think of other items that we touch all the time and rarely clean. Refrigerator handle? Telephone? Remote control? We touch these everyday without even thinking about where our hands have been (or where the kids' hands have been). Next time you sanitize your kitchen counter you may want to think about cleaning the salt and pepper shaker while you are at it. I don't even want to think about what could be growing on my laptop keyboard. Not sure how to clean some of those items? Check out these links:

how to clean your keyboard

sanitize your telephone

deep clean and easy clean for your remote

more great tips for a germ free home

Sunday, August 22, 2010

beautiful things

Here are a few photos I have come across recently that make me go "ooh, I want". I have no need for most of them, but they are so pretty.

I have no pretty jars to attach these to, but that doesn't stop me from imagining them in my kitchen. They can be found here

I'm not a big fan of the whole princess fad, but this is just soooo cute! I want two of them :)

it even has the necklace!

I have a pair of earrings from this designer. Eric bought them for me in San Juan Capistano this spring and it was so hard to just choose one. I think I may need the little one.

This artist does custom work. Her shop is closed right now, but I would love to know what these cost. Can you imagine 2 little blonde, blue eyed fairies for the girls' room?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Paper Mama photo challenge "flower"

I have always loved this photo. I know Anika is all blurry, but I love the flowers and the colors of the sunset and how she is running toward me. This was taken after a little photo shoot of Ani, but she got bored and ran off so I started taking pictures of the flowers instead.

Check out the other entries here
The Paper Mama

Friday, August 20, 2010

new diaper cover thanks to SwagBucks :)

I've been using the SwagBucks search bar for all my internet browsing and have earned $20 worth of Amazon gift cards. I spent a couple of them on this new diaper cover for Emily.

This is not our first Thirsties cover, but it is the first duo wrap and the first with snaps and so far we love it. It is cut very generously. I got her size 2 which goes from 18-40 pounds! She's only 21 now so this will fit her until she is 100% potty trained. Maybe I should try it on Anika just to see how it fits :)

If you want to check out SwagBucks I have their widget here on my blog and if I refer you I get some free bucks so please do check it out.


When we first moved into our home we painted as much as we could and wore ourselves out! The entire interior of the house was one color and it wasn't a great one. We started with the ceilings and the large spaces like the living/dining/kitchen/hallways that all connect with arches and made them all a neutral "latte" color. The girls bedroom has a pink and green thing going on, the playroom is vibrant blue and orange and white. With our bedroom I chose a deep turquoise with lots of brown accents and I love it. I'm a bit stumped over what to do with the master bath though. Obviously it can be seen from the bedroom and vice versa so we would love a color that compliments the turquoise. Our first thought was a dark brown, but now I am thinking I would like to have more fun with it. I have a vase of flowers in there now and the reddish purple daisy stood out to me as looking really good with the blue. I went searching the internet for images and as I went I saw some really neat green and turquoise color schemes as well. Now I don't know what to do. Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what is in my head right now.

First off, here is my bedroom. It has stuff on the shelf and a couple of dressers in there since this picture was taken, but I don't feel like cleaning it up enough to take a new one. Not that my bedroom is ever messy ;)

This is the color of the daisy that got me started.

Another option that I have been thinking about would be to paint the ceiling and upper two thirds of the bathroom white and then paint the lower portion a bold magenta or green or the whole bathroom white with an accent wall like the alcove where the whirlpool tub is. What do you think?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I have a few new recipes to share. These are perfect for the hot summer days we have been having. First is the veggie and cheese sandwich. Eric loves this and asks for more even when he is full and runs to the store for cream cheese and bread and flowers and asks me to make it again.

I found the recipe on the Pioneer Woman Cooks. We chose to use these multigrain ciabatta sandwich rolls instead of bagels and I don't have presliced cheddar so it's not quite as pretty, but it's so yummy! I cut back on the onion just a little bit for myself, but Eric wants it all on his.

  • ½ blocks Of Cream Cheese
  • 2 whole (to 3) Green Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Avocado
  • Red Onion
  • 1 bagel or sandwich roll
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • 1 Or 2 Slices Of Muenster or Provolone or whatever you like Cheese
  • Slice Of Cheddar Cheese
  • Lettuce
Place ½ a block of cream cheese on a plate and mash it a bit with a fork. Next, chop up 2-3 green onions and mix them with the cream cheese until thoroughly combined.
Slice all veggies (tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, red onions) thinly.
Slice bagel or roll in half. You can toast it if you prefer or not if you are in a hurry like I was today. Spread the cream cheese generously on both sides.
Layer the vegetables. First lay the avocados right along the cream cheese to help them stay put. Next the alfalfa sprouts and then one slice of each kind of cheese. On the other half of the bagel arrange the cucumber slices in a circle.
Next lay the onion slices on top of the cucumbers, then the tomatoes, followed by a slice of lettuce, and if you'd like another slice of cheese.
Then put it all together and enjoy :)

Another great idea for a hot summer day is a nice, cool salad. This one has an Asian flavor and is very filling.
Also found on the Pioneer Woman Cooks


  • 1 package Linguine Noodles, Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
  • ½ heads Sliced Napa Cabbage, Or More To Taste
  • ½ heads Sliced Purple Cabbage, Or More To Taste
  • ½ bags Baby Spinach, Or More To Taste
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
  • 1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced Thin
  • 1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 bag Bean Sprouts (also Called Mung Bean Sprouts)
  • Chopped Cilantro, Up To 1 Bunch, To Taste
  • 3 whole Scallions, Sliced
  • 3 whole Cucumbers Peeled And Sliced
  • 1 can (about 10 Oz.) Whole Cashews, Lightly Toasted In Skillet
  • _____
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • 8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons (up To 3 Tablespoons) Sesame Oil
  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 2 whole Hot Peppers Or Jalapenos, Chopped
  • Chopped Cilantro

Preparation Instructions

Mix salad ingredients together. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve on a platter.
Note: dressing keeps for up to three days before serving, without cilantro.

The store was out of bean sprouts and orange bell peppers, but it still turned out great. It's a really, REALLY, big salad so you may want to save it for a potluck or shrink the recipe a bit if you aren't feeding an army.

And last, but not least and for those of you wondering if we had gone vegetarian.

These were sooo good! The meat turned out really tender and the veggies were roasted, yet still crisp. I found this one on Allrecipes. The only thing I changed was to use cayenne instead of hot pepper sauce because we didn't have any. Oh, and I added red bell pepper just because.


  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 3/4 pound beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 large fresh whole mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into chunks


  1. In a bowl, combine the first nine ingredients; mix well. Pour 1/4 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; cover and refrigerate remaining marinade. Add beef to the bag. Seal and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
  2. Drain and discard marinade. On metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread beef and vegetables. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until beef reaches desired doneness, basting frequently with reserved marinade and turning once. 

We also tried a homemade steak sauce last week, but I have no pictures to share because it was eaten too fast. I am not a steak sauce person, but this was so good I was just licking it off my finger. I used huckleberry jam because that is what we had.

Devil's Steak Sauce

wordless wednesday

Monday, August 16, 2010


We have met some new little creatures since moving to New Mexico. Today's was the cutest so far.

As far as I know this is a small horned lizard. He is only about 2 inches long and at first glance I thought he was a toad until I saw the tail. Anika found him in our garage.

This guy is not so cute.

black widow in our backyard

Eric found this one yesterday and I did some googling.

It's a red backed jumping spider. JUMPING?!

And of course the cockroaches.

This was in the garage and almost as big as the lizard. 

I didn't stop to take pictures, but I have seen a scorpion and a couple of camel spiders as well. Got to love the southwest...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Paper Mama challenge "orange"

Here is my entry for this week's photo challenge. It's the first photo I thought of when I read that the theme is "orange". This is Anika dipping her feet in the Adriatic Sea on the coast of Croatia.

check out this week's other entries here:

The Paper Mama